On Tuesday, March 6th the INS raided a factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts and detained more than 300 undocumented workers and transported them to a holding facility at the Devens Reserve Training Center in Devens, Massachusetts.
Legally the Government Storm troopers were correct in what they did. I am not sure they needed more than 500 agents to round up these folks, but I will not arm chair quarterback what they did. I will also agree that we have an immigration problem in this country and we need to fix it. How we do that I am not sure, but there has to be a better way. I understand the owners of the company were also taken into custody and were in court yesterday, but they were released and asked to return to court at another time. Meanwhile their employees are being detained and processed and their court hearings could be weeks away.
The story quoted above speaks of the panic and fear and people fleeing and having guns drawn on them as they tried to get away. Now I am not saying that it was right for them to try and flee but is it necessary to draw your gun on someone who only moments ago was sitting a a sewing machine? But the real story is not about the ones detained, but about the ones left behind the children.
Today’s Boston Globe has a story about Karin Fernandez a 19 year old from Honduras. She paid a smuggler $4,500 to smuggle her to the United States, the land of the free and the home of the brave, so she could make a better life. I cannot imagine how bad things are where at 19 and pregnant by the way, you would pay another $4,500 to smuggle you into another country. How dangerous is that? Basically you sell yourself into slavery in the factory because you do not have any documents the owners use that and hold it over your head and make you work all sorts or hours under the worst conditions you can imagine. Some argue that they are now better off then they were in the factory.
So what happens to the children. It would seem that hundreds were stranded in day care and schools around the city with no one to come and pick them up. The story continues that 60 were released but more than 200 are still being held.
Oddly enough the factory they worked in has an $82 million dollar contract with the US government to make good out of leather for the military, and even after all of this they still have the contract. I am sure the factory owners, who were allowed to leave right away, are back to work and employing more of these poor people.
Again, I am not saying that coming to this country illegally is right, but as the richest nation on the face of the earth we must be able to do something, other then spending millions on a fence, to stop this problem. Some have said they way to stop immigration is to make life better in the countries they are coming from. We have a problem, in our own back yard and we are doing nothing to address this with the one exception of building the fence to keep them out.
The Statue of Liberty that stands so bright in New York has an inscription on her. This was one of the first things that immigrants from Europe saw. The inscription says everything about who we are as Americans and what it means to be an American. We talk the talk, now it is time to walk the walk.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
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